Santa Monica contains the best of the California coast, on the westside of Los Angeles, a diverse business economy and an unequalled quality of life for visitors and residents.
Santa Monica is 8.3 square miles of businesses and homes; high profile corporate headquarters, a large hi-tech entertainment district, beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, delectable restaurants and some of the finest shopping in the Southern California. It is a stimulating atmosphere for living, vacationing and a dynamic place for business.
Founded in 1875 on the site of the land grant of Don Francisco Sepulveda, and incorporated in 1886, Santa Monica is situated on the Westside of Los Angeles County, due west from downtown Los Angeles, at the crossroads of the Pacific Coast Highway and Interstate 10. Santa Monica offers convenient access to major freeways, bus lines and airports, and is just 8 miles north of LAX.
Santa Monica's coastal Mediterranean climate provides an ideal atmosphere for taking advantage of the famous California lifestyle. Centered on three miles of wide, white sandy beaches, the City enjoys a mild climate averaging about 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Air quality is consistently good in the coastal district.
For more information on where to eat and stay in Santa Monica, please visit our Restaurant and Dining Guide and Hotel and Accommodation Guide. Click here for a map of Santa Monica attractions. Santa Monica has several wonderful shopping areas and attractions including:
Santa Monica Pier
The world famous Santa Monica Pier's origins date back almost 100 years. The Pier covers 9 acres and attracts some 3 million visitors annually. People come here from all over the world to enjoy the ocean breezes, spectacular coastline views, attractions, restaurants, rides, games and shops. Its oldest major amusement is the 1922 carousel. The end of famed Route 66 and a National Historical Landmark, this colorful site is also a favorite location of the entertainment industry, whose crews can often be seen filming here.
Located on the world famous Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park is the family place to play! It's the West Coast's only amusement park located on a pier. Millions of visitors each year enjoy all the rides, games and fun you'd expect from one of Southern California's leading attractions.
It may not be small town USA, but Santa Monica's Main Street serves up it's own brand of homey charm. From 1920's era Americana to 21st Century Design, Main Street is a Westside destination that has it all, from restaurants to a very wide variety of stores.
Set among one of Santa Monica's most beautiful neighborhoods, you could spend an entire day walking Montana Avenue. That's because there are over 150 merchants with one-of-a-kind stores and warm friendly service. From the latest fashions, to antiques, fine art and amazing restaurants, Montana Avenue has it all.
Downtown Santa Monica
Downtown Santa Monica is a vibrant retail, dining and entertainment area in the heart of the city. Nestled on L.A.'s fashionable Westside, just seconds from the Pacific Ocean, the area has become a symbol of the Southern California lifestyle at its finest. Third Street Promenade, an exciting open-air pedestrian street pulsates with an international mix of people enjoying an eclectic blend of restaurants, unique retail shops, movie theatres and nightclubs. The best in dining, shopping, entertainment and a non-stop kaleidoscope of street performers combine to make Downtown Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade a favorite destination for visitors and residents alike.
All four Santa Monica markets are Certified Farmers' Markets. They are organized and managed by the city for the mutual benefit of all who enjoy them. An estimated 900,000 shoppers visit the markets every year. Collectively, vendors provide their customers year-round with a selection of fresh, seasonal produce that is pre-eminent among market programs in the state.
Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica Place anchors the world famous Third Street Promenade with three levels of 140 exciting shops and restaurants including Macy's and Robinsons-May.
Housing over 40 galleries in rehabilitated warehouses on the former site of a historic trolley depot, Bergamot Station has become a popular destination for visitors from around the country and the world.
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
If hiking is your thing, you won't want to pass up the opportunity to explore the Santa Monica Mountains. Rising above Los Angeles, along the curve of Santa Monica Bay and reaching their highest peaks facing the ocean, forming a beautiful and multi-faceted landscape, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area contains a wide variety of plants and wildlife. The mountains also have an interesting and diverse cultural history, which begins with the Chumash and Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and continues today in "L.A.'s backyard."
For more visitor information visit the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau at www.santamonica.com